Last week I took my children to a production of Goodnight Moon (one of my early favorites) and the Runaway Bunny. I didn't know what to expect because the text is so slight in both of those books, but the experience turned out to be wonderful. The theater troupe, dressed in black, maneuvered puppets around the stage. The sets were magical, with the room in Goodnight Moon done in phosphorescent paint and lit with black light.
But, I digress. As a youngster I also was really fond of Dr. Seuss with Hop on Pop and Go Dog Go being the first books I read on my own. Then there were the Berenstain Bears, Encyclopedia Brown, the Animals at Maple Hill Farm, Richard Scarry's stuff, Amelia Bedilia, Peter Pan, Rikki Tikki Tavi (My dad used to use voices when he read and I particularly remember him being a great mongoose.), and the Jungle Book (the Disney version).
I was a devotee of the Bobbsey Twins and have a whole collection to share, although I don't think my boys will be all that interested. I devoured the Chronicles of Narnia, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well as the books that followed.
Gosh...Ramona the Pest, anything Judy Blume (even Forever, which someone passed around in fifth grade), the Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, Black Beauty, Sweet Valley High...
As for my teenage years, it becomes harder to distinguish between what I picked up for fun and what I was required to read. Perhaps this is because I enjoyed most of my reading assignments and they were probably, for the most part, more memorable and meaningful than whatever I chose.
I do know that I read Gone with the Wind, the North and South books, and the Power of One on my own. Of those that were for school, I loved For Whom the Bell Tolls, Pride and Prejudice (still a favorite), Catch 22, Slaughterhouse Five (Karen Vonnegut, Kurt's niece, was a roommate of mine at Cornell), the Great Gatsby, Crime and Punishment, Cry the Beloved Country, Lord of the Flies.
Some of the newer books I've enjoyed with my children, include Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Bear's New Friend, the Toy Boat, Snowmen at Night, and Mortimer's First Christmas. I also reread Little House on the Prairie recently with my son and a shortened version of Around the World in 80 Days. Now, he is even interested in listening to Harry Potter, thanks to a commercial he keeps seeing during the Olympics, but we'll see.
So much good stuff out there...As for young adult fiction, which I'm reading for solely for research (yeah, right!), I seem to be stuck in the supernatural...I liked Twilight, (sorry, Trager), Fallen, Hush, Hush, and Shiver. A really terrific book is Sherman Alexi's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian and a page-turner is The Hunger Games.
Sorry for such a long post...the memories just kept coming.